Halen's Rock Star Halloween Costume Instructions Designed by Cheri Carlson
Transform your pet into a rock star this Halloween with this fun costume featuring a detachable guitar that connects to your pet's harness. An amiable boxer named Halen modeled this costume for our Halloween pet fashion show.
The Guitar Step one: To create this costume we purchased 1/4 inch balsa wood, 1/8 inch craft wood, screw-in eye hooks, Velcro and black roving wool. Find an image (within the public domain) you like of a guitar or better yet create one of your own and print two copies on photo paper in your desired size. We printed the neck and body of the guitar separately to get larger images. The body of our guitar is about 9 inches in length and the neck is about 11.5 inches in length. Glue the image of the neck to balsa wood and the image of the body to craft wood with Mod Podge or other craft adhesive. Using the second copy, cut out the raised parts of a guitar including; the bridge, bridge pickup, nut, jack and pick guard, and glue these images to balsa wood. Allow to dry. Use a jeweler's saw or other small coping saw, to cut out the images. Sand the edges until smooth.
Step two: If we were to make this costume over again, we would coat the image of the guitar in Ice Resin to protect it and to give it some dimension. Test a small piece of your image first to make sure that the Ice Resin won't make the ink bleed. First, brush a thin layer of Ice Resin onto the neck and raised pieces, excluding the body. Allow time to cure. Glue the neck to the body of the guitar using E6000 glue. Allow to dry. Pour a layer of resin onto the body of the guitar and allow time to cure. Clean the edges if necessary. You may need to re-sand the edges smooth.
Step three: Next, rig the wires to the bridge piece. Use a pin or small drill to poke six holes into the bridge piece for the strings. Use a small knife or tool to scoop out a recess into the back of the bridge behind the holes. For the first two strings, or low E and A, use 20-inch pieces of ZambaPro 49 .019 jewelry wire and string them through the holes before crimping them together behind the bridge using a sterling silver 2x2mm crimp tube. For help using crimp tools visit the handy tips section of the learning center. Leave a small tail on each wire. Repeat for the next two strings, this time using .014 jewelry wire, and then the last two using .012 jewelry wire. Press the crimped tails inside of the recess and fill the recess with Gem-Tac adhesive. Place a piece of paper over the recess and adhesive to hold in all the wires and make a flush surface. Allow time to dry. Glue the bridge and the rest of the raised pieces to the body of the guitar and allow time to dry.
Step four: Use a pin to create six small grooves in the nut piece for the wires to run through. Dab the grooves with some glue and press the wires into the grooves, making sure the wires are taught. Place a small piece of plastic over the wires and let dry with a weighted object, such as a book, on top of the plastic. You may find it helpful to keep the jewelry wires pressed down at the point where they come out of the bridge while you glue the wires to the nut. Glue six 6mm metallite antique silver double hex beads in a vertical row alongside the tuners and allow to dry. Wrap the top wire around the lowest hex bead and secure with a crimp tube. Trim the excess wire. Repeat this process for the remaining five wires.
Step five: To reinforce the guitar, glue a thin piece of wood that is nearly the length of the guitar to the back. We used a piece of dowel that was flattened on one side. Screw an eye hook into the bottom of the dowel so that the hook hangs over the edge. This will serve as the bottom hook for the shoulder strap. Glue a 1-inch piece of dowel to the top wing of the guitar for the top hook for the shoulder strap. Allow to dry. Screw in an eye hook so the hook hangs over the edge. Coat the back of the guitar and any uncoated surfaces in Mod Podge and let dry.
Step six: Next, embellish the guitar. Glue a Swarovski SS16 rose flatback in black diamond to a blank 4.5mm sterling silver alphabet bead, covering the hole. Repeat twice. Glue these beads over the nut piece, covering the wires. Glue six Swarovski SS20 rose flatbacks in black diamond to form a row on the bridge piece. Glue several Swarovski SS9 rose flatbacks in black diamond onto the raised pieces to accent their designs. We used several of the following Swarovski flatbacks to accent the design on the body of our guitar: SS20 rose light Siam, SS12 rose light Siam, SS7 rose light Siam, SS30 rose light Siam, SS16 rose light Siam, SS20 rose jet, SS9 rose jet, SS12 rose jet, SS7 rose jet and SS7 rose crystal.
The Harness Rig Halen's harness sits high on his back so in addition to attaching the guitar to the harness, we made a strap to wrap around his waist and provide the bottom ring to attach the guitar. In a later step we will attach two eye rings to the support piece on the back of the guitar which will connect to both the harness and the waist strap.
Step one: Make a strap out of elastic (or another sturdy fabric such as an old nylon leash) that is long enough to wrap around your dog's waist and provide an overlap for the Velcro. Attach a piece of Velcro to each end for the closure. Sew a closed loop onto the strap, attach a split ring to the loop and then attach a lobster clasp to the split ring. Set aside
Step two: Cut a piece of elastic string about 6 inches in length. The elastic allows the rig to give as the dog moves and sits. Fold the string in half and slide a sterling silver 3x3mm crimp tube over both ends. Slide the crimp tube up the elastic to form a loop that is about an inch long and crimp. Place a dab of E6000 glue to the ends of the elastic and insert them into a sterling silver crimp end with ring. Crimp the end with nylon jaw pliers and allow to dry. Attach a split ring to the crimp end ring and attach a cast clasp to the split ring. Thread a shoelace or ribbon through the loop on the elastic band. Tie the shoelace to your dog's harness. Put the Velcro waist band on your dog.
Step three: Hold the guitar up to the harness and waistband, and make two marks on the dowel that coincide with the clasps. Screw eye hooks into the dowel at the marks. Now you can just clip the clasps onto the eye hooks on the guitar making it easy to get the guitar on and off of your dog.
The Guitar Strap Next, construct the shoulder strap. You can use an old belt or elastic band from around the house. The shoulder strap is purely decorative and does not actually support the guitar.
Step one: Cut the strap to loosely fit around your dog's shoulders. You want to allow a little extra room for your dog to sit down and move around. Sew a sterling silver 8.5x17mm cast clasp to each end of the strap.
Step two: Embellish the strap with Swarovski flatbacks to spell the name of your dog; we used Swarovski rose flatbacks in light Siam. For the lightning bolt we used Swarovski rose flatbacks in crystal. We found it easier to glue the rhinestones to a piece of black fabric, trim around the design, and glue the design to the shoulder strap.
The Wig Step one: To create the mullet wig, cut a piece of fabric to fit on the top of your dog's head. We used a cup from a small sized bra and trimmed it down to size. Cut four pieces of ribbon to tie around your dog's neck; you can also use shoe laces. One strap goes in front of the ears and one strap goes behind the ears. Glue the ends of the ties onto the inside of the bra cup. Glue a piece of fabric to the inside of the bra cup to cover the tie ends
Step two: Use hot glue to attach pieces of black roving wool, or yarn, to the cap to make the hair. We pulled small tufts of the wool and glued it on the cap in rows.